Like many of you, I mourn the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other people of color unjustly killed in the United States. It is a moral outrage that we continue to allow systems to be steeped in white supremacy and devalue Black lives at every turn – whether it be housing, health care, criminal justice, education, etc. or police violence. The time to dismantle systemic, institutional racism is now. Those of us in housing policy must be committed to the pursuit of justice through anti-racist work – to undo the wrongs of the past and present, and to create truly equitable communities in Connecticut and beyond.
For centuries, zoning and housing policy has been used to segregate, separate, and impoverish communities of color. A direct line can be drawn between the legally-enforced segregation and racial covenants of the early 20th century, to mid-20th century redlining and displacement of Black Americans through the construction of the Interstate Highway System, to modern-day municipal zoning and education system structure. Connecticut is one of the most segregated states in the country, and advocates must put racial equity at the center of our work.
Even before the events of the last week, COVID-19 has shown the world that the effects of segregation and systemic racism are fatal and pervasive for communities of color. As advocates for housing justice in Connecticut, we must spend much time listening, but we will not be silent. Housing policy has been used to segregate Connecticut’s communities; it must be used to de-segregate them as well. Black lives matter, and the Partnership for Strong Communities is committed to doing the internal and external work necessary to fight these inequities in the housing system.
Partnership for Strong Communities